Saturday, December 24, 2011

END OF 2011

These are my last pieces of 2011...also commissions in the series 'After Irma'.
Closing my studio today - until just after New Year. My shop at The Old Biscuit Mill will however be open from Tuesday to Saturday next week. If you are taking a break - as most people here in the southern hemisphere are doing (summer holidays) - have fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Just out of the kiln...the tentativeness of a bridal couple? (my interpretation)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fred Astaire's partner...

Recently a client was trying to describe what I call a 'zig zag' vase - this was her take on the shape...It certainly made me chuckle!

'narrow base going outward as it goes upward.

and then duplicating the base
but in reverse

(e.g. something like Fred Astaire's partner doing everything that he did
but backwards
and in high heels)

ie outwards coming inwards and upwards towards neck
and then thinnish elegantish neck
with a thin red rim at the top.'

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Come take a walk to the Christmas market.....!!

This is indeed the best market in Cape Town !!!

Following on the success of two previous Designer-Maker Markets, the historic Evangelical Lutheran Church (circa 1780), the oldest operating church in Cape Town, and
The Freeworld Design Centre will jointly host the third festive exhibition and market.(Check the above link to see all the wonderful exhibitors)

This combined event will take place from 14-16 December at the Freeworld Design Centre courtyard, along Cape Town’s Fan Walk. The church’s popular annual Carols by Candlelight is a non-denominational event that takes place within the church itself on the evening of 14 December. Visitors to the market will be able to enter the church from the courtyard and all faiths are welcome to attend the carols. There is no cost to attend either the market or the carols. The market will run for a further two days after the opening carols event, and is in aid of the church’s children’s home.

Designer exhibitors are all hand-picked by Lauren Shantall (Head of Freeworld Design Centre). In addition to the exquisite handmade goodies on offer for festive season gifts, there will be live music, tours of the ELC Clock Tower, and a host of yummy food offerings. This event forms part of WalkCapeTown, a post-World Cup initiative, which aims to re-energise the Fan Walk through public events and ultimately enhance the cultural life of the city.


Wednesday 14 December 15h30 – 21h00, to coincide with the Carols by Candlelight at the ELC

Thursday 15 December 10h30 – 21h00

Friday 16 December 10h30 – 21h00 (public holiday)

Thursday, December 8, 2011







Please join us for our studio open day and to celebrate

- for the great unrushed of the world - the launch of

The Curious Room

A collaboration by Margaret Woermann and Peta Becker

- an antidote to virtual online shopping – part of the slow movement – feast your eyes and soul upon extreme entirely one-off decorative and home ware objects.

Saturday 10th December 2011



501 Tollgate Centre 12 Ravenscraig Road Woodstock Cape Town

Tel.021 448 3203

The CURIOUS ROOM will thereafter usually be open on weekdays and Saturdays until early afternoon or by appointment

Tel. Margaret 082 4147648

Peta 082 662 5391

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


A friend sent me a link to The Identikit of the Perfect Maker where there are wonderful images of the work of Michael Eden whose work I had seen in Ceramic Review. However his website and blog reveal some fascinating directions of ceramics-meets-digital design-meets concepts...well worth checking it out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


A group exhibition of work inspired by indigenous flora, curated by Margie Murgatroyd(of Africa Nova), at Casa Labia, Muizenberg 7 Dec 2011 - 26 Feb 2012. Hours Tuesday - Sun 10am - 4pm.
IN BLOOM II promises to be as beautiful and as inspiring as In Bloom last year. A definite MUST for anyone visiting Cape Town this summer, the Casa Labia is an extraordinary building, and the art work of the exhibition is shown here at its very best.
Included on this exhibition is one of the wall flower collaboration between Hennie Meyer and myself.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Kim Sacks Gallery in Johannesburg has a TEA exhibition currently on show - I love the way she has displayed my work...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Sake and Sushi set. Sake flute: $89, cup: $21, plate: $22

A friend sent me this Shapeways link which is quite makes me real (actual as opposed to virtual) studio ceramics going to become totally anachronistic, a feature of past history, perhaps like lace-making?
The Shapeways site is completely interactive in that one can design one's own item within the limitations of their templates and then have it made 'without getting one's hands dirty'....and one assumes the respondent would feel truly creative!

'Create cups and tumblers from scratch without getting your hands covered in clay. Design your one of a kind set using our easy Creator tool and get it made in food-safe 3D printed ceramic. Painting pottery is so 1999. 3D printing pottery...welcome to the future.'

It is certainly a new other kind of world!

Any thoughts on this?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


'Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.'
Chaim Potok

This is my tea set for a themed 'tea' exhibition to be held very soon at
Kim Sacks Gallery in Johannesburg


Today Albie, my partner, and Adonis, my assistant, installed this panel which was a commission for a client - it was to be the feature piece in the most beautiful apartment in all of Cape Town. The challenge was to use colours that resonated gently with the furniture and accessories and at the same time using iconography and content that was fresh and a little whimsical. The panel should be titled 'Edward Lear meets T.S.Eliot' - they were my combined inspirations!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Yang Jiechang, The skull.

My son who is a digital animator specialising in the human body drew my attention to the ceramic work of Yang Jiechang. I found the pieces quite beautiful and not ostentatious like Damien Hirst's diamond skull.

All pieces are produced in Jingdezhen kilns, which are renowned for some of the highest quality ceramics in China, then hand painted with traditional flower motifs.
By combining Chinese master crafts, like ceramics, with skulls and bones, inspired from vanitas iconography in Western art, Yang Jiechang creates a strong yet poetic artwork questioning the meaning of life and the importance of memory in contemporary society.
Each artwork comes in a custom box signed by the artist with a certificate of authenticity.

jiechangYang Jiechang. b. 1956 Guangdong Province, China. Lives in Heidelberg, Germany, and Paris, France. Yang Jiechang (Guangdong 1956) is one of the best known overseas Chinese painters. The artist studied calligraphy and traditional painting and borrows on those skills to create contemporary works, like ink-dripped characters, maps and traditional landscape images with a modern feel. He also has created collages, installations and performance art. He studied in Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts from 1978 to 1982. He lives and works in Paris and Heidelberg, Germany since 1988.

For more info check out Galerie Conrads.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grayson Perry Decries Portsmouth Plans to Cut Crafts - ArtLyst

Grayson Perry Decries Portsmouth Plans to Cut Crafts - ArtLyst

Bloomsbury and the Omega Workshops

In the spirit of portraiture on plates I have recently been commissioned to paint some famous characters onto plates. The image here features my versions of Roger Fry and Clive Bell

Fry(1866 - 1934) was an English artist and art scholar, a curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (1906–10) and the Slade Professor of Art at Cambridge (1933). He coined the term “post-Impressionism” and introduced England to its principal artists through two London exhibitions( 1910-1912); he worked with Clive Bell to develop a new theory of art—formalism—to justify post-Impressionism (1913–14); and most lastingly he founded and ran the Omega Workshops (1913–19), whose decorative crafts helped heal England’s interior design of the “eczematous eruption” of Victorian ornament.

Fry was an intimate of the Bloomsbury circle from at least 1911 when he fell in love with Vanessa Bell during a tour of Turkey. Bell—Woolf’s older sister—was already married, and Fry had just admitted his wife of fifteen years to a mental hospital, but the Bloomsbury prejudice against monogamy encouraged their romance, which was genuine and lasting even if the affair was short. In 1926 longing for the domestic comforts of married life, Fry moved in with Helen Anrep, with whom he would remain until his death eight years later.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Ceramic piece by John Higgins

John Higgins constructing a slab vessel

Ralph Johnson - Chairperson of Ceramics SA - holding up John's thrown plate

John throwing a plate

The slabbed pot is almost complete...

John Higgins, well-known British potter, presented a wonderful workshop to members of Ceramics South Africa in Durbanville this past Saturday. SO inspiring to watch the ease with which a maker of probably 40 years experience glides through the techniques and skills. He started the day with a slide presentation of his work describing in detail his roots and his influences...what a pleasure and a privilege to be one of the participants.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


'Colour in Glazes' - This wonderful new book by Linda Bloomfield is now out - I am delighted to have my beakers featured on the cover. Check out the preview on the best seller Ceramic Arts Bookstore page.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Opening this Sunday 13th Nov 2011 at 11.30 am - Ceramics SA (Western Cape)
Regional Exhibition.
The Great Cellar at Alphen Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia, Cape Town
Opening speaker - British potter John Higgins.
Weekdays 9 - 5
Saturday 9 - 1

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Opening on Wed 9 November at 6pm. This is a mixed media exhibition featuring all the artists who have been associated with the curator, Sue Greenberg, over the past 29 years. To be opened by Brendon Bell, Director of the Tatham Gallery, Pietermaritzburg. Artisan Gallery, 344 Florida Road, Morningside , Durban . Tel 031 312 4364

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I am thrilled to have my vase featured on the cover of Oded Schwartz's latest edition of his 'In Search of Plenty'. This book traces the history of Jewish cooking throughout the Diaspora and in Israel and provides a fascinating description of the origins, both practical and religious, of Jewish cuisine. There are some recipes, but for more of these visit Oded's Kitchen either online or at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock where you can sample his delicious preserves and other delicacies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I am delighted to have my plates featured on many of the pages in this superb new recipe book brought out by Quivertree. Reuben says that the plates make his food sing...I say that his food provides the decoration on my plates!

In this, his second cookbook, renowned South African chef Reuben Riffel shares his favourite local ingredients, highlighting seasonal items and South African producers.

The easy instructions allow you to capture the flavours of South Africa —whether from sea, earth, field or orchard — simply and successfully in your own kitchen, producing dishes guaranteed to become instant favourites with family and friends’

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I am designing some new pieces for the Designer Maker Artisan Christmas market to be held in December at the Freeworld Design Centre - quite excited about this combination of content which I usually apply on wall tiles or cups and now translating it into fun plates.

Friday, October 14, 2011


A new book by Linda Bloomfield coming out this beakers on the fabulous!

Colour in Glazes (New Ceramics) [Paperback]

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"The tears of the world are a constant quantity. ..



"The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops."
Samuel Beckett (Pozzo in Waiting for Godot)
Beckett has been my inspiration for these 2 panels above currently on show 'From the table to the wall and back' at Kim Sacks Gallery in Johannesburg.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Recently I completed a panel where the client requested that I incorporate some selected passages in Hebrew from the Psalms and also iconography depicting the major holidays in the Jewish calendar in a non-cliched and somewhat cryptic way.

Details of the panel can be seen in the images above as well as the completed panel with my assistant, Adonis, who, together with Albie, my partner, installed the tiles directly on to the wall.

This project required some extensive research which I really enjoyed, as well as the challenge of putting all the visual components together into a composite whole.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Adonis working on a platter

Sandile working on tiles

Muriel glazing her animal farm

Tommy making a figurine sculpture

Today the artist Tommy Motswai came to work in the studio. His energy permeated the space and everyone was very focused in individual creative activities...the day has been warm and a sense of spring in the air!

Monday, October 3, 2011


'Ceramics seems very important in Korea. Its ancient past is defined by styles of pottery. The ubiquitous onggi pot holds a family’s precious store of kimchee, hopefully enough to see it through the winter. And with the Gyeonggi Ceramix Biennale, Korea has established the key international event in the world of ceramics.'

These are the opening lines of an extremely interesting review of the Gyeonggi Ceramix Biennale by Kevin Murray -